Epitaph Composed to Devote a Posthumous Title for King Injong
- Accession Number
Goryeo Dynasty I
A sichaek (諡冊) is a written decree that bestows an honorary title on a king or queen who has died. This particular sichaek bears the exact date of its production: 1146, after King Uijong ascended to the throne following the death of King Injong during the Goryeo Dynasty. The front and back pieces each feature elegant line engravings of the Heavenly Deities (天部像), magnificently illustrating the style of 12th century Goryeo court paintings, of which there remains very little visual evidence. This sichaek contains a total of 43 cut jade pieces: 41 pieces (33×3.0×2.5 cm) engraved with writings, and the two larger cover pieces (33.0×8.5×2.5 cm) engraved with the Heavenly Deities. The text mainly describes King Injong’s noble character and lists some of his achievements, such as suppressing Myocheong’s revolt and hosting a ceremony for a plentiful harvest at a Hwangu (圜丘, “circular altar”). At the end, the posthumous honorary title is declared. Each piece has a hole through the side at both the top and bottom, so that they could be connected with a golden thread, but the thread for this sichaek has been lost.